Madrid: Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on Friday called a snap general election on April 28.
Sánchez, 46, of the Socialist Party (PSOE), said he was asking for Parliament to be dissolved and for the polls to be held one month before regional elections in the country.
“I have proposed the dissolution of Parliament and call for elections on April 28,” Sánchez said in a nationally televised press conference from his official residence Moncloa Palace.
The announcement came two days after his Socialist government suffered a defeat in Parliament after failing to get its 2019 budget passed, CNN reported.
Sanchez came to power in June by triggering a successful no-confidence vote against his predecessor Mariano Rajoy’s minority conservative Popular Party government.
Despite the PSOE having just 85 members in the 350-seat Congress, Sanchez had previously depended on the support of other small regional parties to pass legislation and vowed to see out his mandate until 2020.
However, Sanchez failed to convince Catalan parties to support the PSOE’s budget proposal this week.
“After almost nine months of progress which has been good for the Spanish, this week we saw the budget blocked,” the Prime Minister said, adding the budget defeat left him with a choice to “do nothing and work with a budget that isn’t ours” or call for a new mandate.
“I choose the latter,” he said.
The latest opinion polls imply that although Sanchez’s party will win the most votes in a forthcoming election, the right-wing People’s Party, Ciudadanos, and the extreme right-wing Vox will win enough votes and seats to be able to form a coalition government.